This last month has definitely been a challenging one for all of us as we all struggle with the extreme impacts of the corona virus pandemic. Life as we know it has definitely changed.
Since we are now required to stay in the safety of our homes, to protect our health and that of our loved ones and community, we need to be stocking our pantry’s with wholesome foods, especially in the event of having to self-isolate for 2-weeks.
Having to stay at home doesn’t mean you need be living on canned soup, 2-minute noodles and rice. Now is such an important time to be eating healthy nourishing meals that will help support you and your families immune system and general health. With a little planning you can have your pantry full of tasty foods that will have you and your family eating well for weeks.
I’ve put together a handy ‘2-week healthy pantry stock-up’ list of wholesome affordable foods that will help support your health and immune system.
TIP 1: THROW OUT ANY OLD EXPIRED FOOD
Before you go out and buy more food take a quick look through your fridge, freezer and cupboards and throw out anything out of date.
TIP 2: DON’T HOARD
Please do not buy more food than you need. Hoarding and panic-buying means that members of your community may have to go without certain essential items. There is not a food shortage, there is plenty of food to go around. Warehouses and grocery stores are trying their hardest to replenish shelves as quickly as possible.
TIP 3: MEAL PLAN
Before you write your shopping list have a think about what meals you would like to make. Think of healthy dinners, lunches, breakfast and snacks for a 2-week period that you and your family enjoy.
TIP 4: FREEZE LEFTOVERS
Making extra when you cook and freezing meals for later is recommended . That way you can load curries, spaghetti bolognaise sauce, casseroles, patties, lentil dishes and soups with loads of immune-boosting vegetables, herbs and spices.
TIP 5: STAYING SAFE WHILE GROCERY SHOPPING
When you go grocery shopping there are some important safety measures you need to take. Wear a mask when you go grocery shopping. There are a number of studies that have found that masks do reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you can't buy a mask then you can make your own. A study has shown that homemade masks made from cotton t-shirts or tea towels are 70-83% effective. Take social distancing seriously and stay 6 feet away from other people. Wipe down your trolley with an antibacterial wipe. Don’t touch items unless you have committed to buying them. When you get home don’t put your shopping bags on your kitchen counter. If you’re using your own re-usable bags make sure you wash them after use. Also when you get home remember that the corona virus can survive on surfaces such as tins and other food packaging for hours and even days. It is important to wipe down tins and packets with an antibacterial spray. If the box packaging has a bag inside, dispose of the outside box. Wash your fruits and veggies well with bicarb soda, vinegar or a veggie anti-bacterial wash. Here's a helpful video to show you how to handle your groceries safely.
2-WEEK HEALTHY PANTRY STOCK UP
GRAINS & PASTA
Wholegrains provide complex carbohydrates for sustained energy and dietary fibre and vitamins B and E. Wholegrains are your perfect pantry item. Oats are particularly nourishing for the nervous system.
Oats – Perfect for making porridge, healthy granola, and muesli cookies, or boxes of your favourite healthy low-sugar cereal.
Rice – brown, basmati, or jasmine. Quinoa is a great alternative to rice.
Noodles – rice, buckwheat, konjac, kelp or soba. For stir-fries, miso soup and curries.
Pasta - wholemeal, gluten-free - rice, buckwheat, legume.
Loaves of wholegrain or gluten-free bread (freeze)
Flour for baking – gluten-free, spelt, wholemeal, coconut or almond meal. Baking soda and baking powder.
Wholegrain or gluten-free wraps (freeze) – for wraps, homemade pizzas, burritos, tacos or tortilla chips.
NUTS & SEEDS
Nuts and seeds are a fantastic source of protein, fibre and immune-supportive beneficial fats. They make a healthy snack, or nourishing addition to breakfast cereals, salads, baked goods and stir-fries. Nut butters are delicious are a delicious toast topping or salad or veggie dressing.
100% Nut butter – almond, hazelnut or peanut butter.
Raw or dry roasted nuts (Pistachio, almonds, cashews, walnuts) or Trail mix.
Hemp seeds, flax or chia seeds.
Dried and tinned legumes make an excellent pantry item. They’re a great source of protein and fibre and make a perfect addition to soups, salads, stir-fries, dahls, tacos, burritos and curries. Legumes are also not expensive and they will last a long-time in your cupboard.
Dried or tinned red or green lentils.
Dried or tinned red kidney beans.
Dried or tinned chickpeas.
FLAVOUR – herbs, spices, sweeteners and sauces
Stock up on a variety of your favourite herbs and spices that will add plenty of flavour to your meals and health benefits including supporting the immune system. Some great choices include coriander, basil, rosemary, oregano, chilli, ginger, paprika, cumin, turmeric, and curry powder.
Garlic and onion are important vegetables that provide immune support and flavour to meals. Add plenty of these immune-boosters to meals were you can.
Raw honey, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract is great for adding some natural sweetness to porridges or for baking.
Olive oil for cooking, coconut oil for baking, and tamari (wheat-free), apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar for dressings and marinades.
PASTA & CURRY SAUCES AND STOCKS
Stock up on your favourite sauces, pastes and bone broths or stocks to make nourishing soups, casseroles, curries and pastas.
Jars of pesto - basil or sun-dried tomato.
Jars of low sodium pasta sauce.
Jars of good quality curry paste.
Containers of bone broth or veggie stocks.
Miso paste lasts for up to a year in the fridge. It is rich in probiotics so it supports the healthy of your gut and immune system. Use miso paste to make a veggie miso soup with noodles, or add a spoonful to casseroles and stir-fries at the end of cooking to add flavour and nutritional goodness.
Tinned fish is a great way to get immune boosting fats, zinc and iron into your diet. Tinned fish is also a good affordable source of protein. Add tinned fish to sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes and casseroles. Choose wild sustainable tinned fish if available.
Tinned salmon, skipjack tuna or sardines.
Fill your cupboards with long-life plant-based milks and tins of coconut milk or cream for breakfast cereals, smoothies, baked goods, curries and hot chocolate and chai.
Plant based milk (almond, hemp, organic soy, oat, rice).
Tins of coconut milk or cream.
FROZEN FRUIT & VEGGIES
Keep a supply of frozen fruits and veggies in your freezer. Frozen fruits and veggies can be just as healthy and can contain just as many nutrients as fresh, especially when some fresh produce has travelled long distances and sit in grocery stores for weeks. Frozen corn, peas, carrots, and green beans are good options. Chop broccoli and cauliflower florets or spinach and place them in bags to freeze. Frozen mixed berries, mango pieces and diced ripe bananas can be used for smoothies, baked goods and porridge.
OTHER HEALTHY PROTEIN SOURCES
If you eat meat and chicken freeze a 2-week supply to make casseroles, stir-fries, meat balls or patties, shepard pie, bolognaise and pasta dishes.
Organic eggs - for scrambled and boiled eggs, frittatas and baking.
Hard cheeses like Cheddar, Percorino and Parmesan can last 4-9 months unopened and around 4-6 weeks opened. The harder the cheese the longer it lasts. Cheese adds flavour to pasta, rice dishes, homemade pizzas, salads, wraps and grilled sandwiches.
Organic beef or lamb mince (freeze)
Organic chicken (freeze)
Fresh fish (freeze)
Organic tofu - for stir-fries, curries, miso soup.
FRESH VEGGIES WITH LONGEVITY
Stock up on veggies that have that last longer like pumpkin, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, celery, onions, garlic, and onions. They will last longer if you keep them in a dark, cool place.
HEALTH ENHANCING TEAS & BEVERAGES
Stock up with your favourite health promoting herbal teas. From our Bodhi Organic wellness range our best immune-boosting teas are ImmuniTEA (echinacea, elder flowers and berries, ginger) and ZesTEA (Ginger, turmeric, lemon myrtle, lemongrass).
Our favourite stress-busting teas with calming herbs are SereniTEA (chamomile, lavender, lemon balm and lemon verbena) or TranquiliTEA (valerian, passionflower). Adaptogenic herbs such as Siberian ginseng, withania and bacopa are particularly important during times of chronic stress. Our minty VitaliTEA contains these adaptogenic botanicals that help support the adrenal gland to help your body cope with stress in a healthier way.
Green tea and Masala Chai are also great choices that are rich in antioxidants to help support immune health. Try our award-winning ViridiTEA (Sencha green tea and jasmine) and Masala Chai (cinnamon, black tea, ginger, cardamom, aniseed).
We now have larger refill packs (approx. 80-85 cups) available in these teas along with storage tins to keep your teas fresh for longer.
Kombucha contains probiotics that help support healthy gut and immune function.
Cacao powder is a good source of protective antioxidants and nervous system calming magnesium. Cacao powder is ideal for making healthy hot chocolate and cakes, cookies and muffins. Cacao and medicinal mushroom powders are also an excellent immune-boosting choice.
I hope these suggestions have been helpful for stocking up your pantry.
Please also try to support your local cafes and restaurants who are struggling to stay open at the moment by ordering take-out or home delivery. The corona virus is less likely to survive in hot food, so ordering hot take-out meals is recommended. Just be careful of packaging and transfer your meal to a plate or bowl before eating.
Please stay safe and well. Sending you all lots of Love, Lisa. xx
PS - A big THANK YOU to everyone who continues to support small businesses like Bodhi Organic Tea. We couldn't survive this without your help.